igus E6 energy chains used by Strothmann GmbH

High-speed metal sheet feed places high demands on the energy supply system

Strothmann GmbH is known as a specialist for handling sheet metal plates. Their systems are used worldwide in press plants and found in all well-known automobile manufacturers. Strothmann's linear motor technology has set new standards for performance and speed. This places correspondingly high demands on the energy supply system – here the company cooperates with igus®


  • What was needed: Plastic energy chains, readychain
  • Requirements: The blank feeder's energy supply system was to be harmonised with the machine's high speeds
  • Industry: Automotive industry
  • Success for the customer: igus energy chains reliably supply the blank storage chamber with electricity and operate with very little vibration
Discover all of our products for automotive production
Energy chains

Products used


Strothmann's linear motor technology greatly increased blank feeder dynamics. The horizontal axis achieves speeds of up to 6m/s – almost twice those of a toothed-belt-drive feeder – and the vertical 2m/s, all with payloads of up to 250kg. Accelerations of up to 20m/s² are around twice those of a conventional feeder. The high horizontal speeds and elimination of the toothed belt mean that the feeders can also quickly bridge very large distances, opening up completely new system layout options. Strothmann developed and delivered a blank feeder for feeding sheet metal to a blanking press. It has a normal working cycle of 2 to 2.50 metres for placing the blanks onto the belt. But during tooling changes, the axis travels 13 metres. Given the high level of precision and dynamics, toothed belt drives cannot manage such travels.
The energy supply system must be harmonised with the high speeds and accelerations and allow a continuous, reliable supply of energy, compressed air, cooling medium, and control information, even over long distances.


For the blank feeders – and other handling systems with linear technology – Strothmann uses igus® E6-series energy chains, which have proven themselves in many highly dynamic applications. In selecting a supplier, the Strothmann developers also considered the fact that the MagShuttle system energy chains have to withstand high loads. Since the igus® energy chains have a documented long service life even under high dynamic loads, they are the right choice for MagShuttle systems and other Strothmann handling systems.

The E6 series offers many advantages in addition to long service life. It features extremely quiet, low-vibration operation, working well with the low-vibration linear motor drive concept. It minimises the polygon effect, which can occur when an energy supply system is rolled up. The ultra-low noise levels have been confirmed in a recent expert assessment by TÜV Rheinland. The large product range allows selection of optimum chain size for each application; the design engineer also has a wide range of interior separation options. The same is true of mounting brackets.

strothmann gmbh blank feeder Handling unit for a blank loader with linear drive The horizontal axis energy chains are arranged at the front of the handling unit.
strothmann gmbh blank feeder The MagShuttle becomes even faster if two handling units are arranged with an overlapping work area on a linear robot axis.